The Nexus 7 first intrigued me with two things, the price and its association to Google. Usually when a tablet starts at $200, I worry about the product feeling cheap or being slow in use. The Nexus 7 doesn't have a problem with neither as it blows every other 7-inch tablet out of the water.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Nexus 7 is its ease of use. Operating on a new form of Android, 4.1 Jellybean, the Nexus is a blast to use. As an iOS user, I was skeptical at first to jump into the Android operating system after hearing about it being laggy and slow, but this is not the case with the Nexus 7. Thanks to Google’s “Project Butter” the quickness of the operating system rivals that of the iPad 3, which its quick gestures and fast loading apps. “Project Butter” is Google’s attempt to reduce lag and input times for Android devices and has succeeded in every regard. It’s especially noticeable on a 7-inch tablet, which would have been plagued with lag in the past.
Other than actual specs, apps are the driving force of a tablet’s life. Having the vast Android marketplace with nearly every app working on launch for the Nexus 7 was a huge accomplishment. Not every app is optimized for the 7-inch display, but they still look good considering that some Android phones carry a 5-inch screen. If you get apps that are Tegra enhanced, you will see a huge difference in picture quality.
Screen resolution has been a hot topic since the Apple iPad, iPhones, and now even the Macbook Pro includes a retina display. The Nexus 7 screen resolution is 1280×800, which looks fantastic on the 7-inch screen. The iPad 3’s retina display has a pixel-per-inch of 264, while the Nexus 7 has a ppi of 216. This means the iPad 3’s biggest selling point, its screen, is only around 20% better looking than the Nexus 7’s screen. And on a 7-inch device, you wont be able to notice that 20% regardless. Text, video, and images look clear and crisp on the beautiful LCD display.
It is a modern day marvel at how inexpensive the Nexus 7 is. Inside of the unit you’ll find a quad-core Tegra 3 CPU and 1 GB of RAM. Combine this with the accelerometer, a GPS chip, a 1.2 front facing megapixel camera, and 8 or 16 gigs of storage, you have yourself a steal. The 8gb model retails for $200 while the 16gb model will run you $250. This places the Nexus 7 in the Kindle Fire price range, but still lets it compete with the much more expensive tablets, such as the aforementioned iPad.
The 7-inch form factor enables users to operate the device with one hand and makes it feel a lot lighter than the 10-inch tablet line. It only weighs .74 pounds, which makes it even lighter than the Kindle fire at .90 pounds. The Nexus 7 is about half of the iPad 3, which weighs in at an arm-tiring 1.44 pounds. If you have to carry a tablet around all day, why not opt for a smaller, lighter and more convenient machine?
Google’s Nexus 7 is actually made by Asus, a well-respected company that manufactures other tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices. The back of the device has a nice soft, dimpled fabric that is easy to grip. This makes holding the device easier when you only want to use one hand. Don’t bother comparing this device to other 7-inch tablets on the market. If you were thinking of buying a Kindle Fire instead of this tablet, think again.
Battery life isn’t a problem with the Nexus 7 either. It touts up to 9 and a half hours of use, depending on brightness and what you are using the device for. When I use it, I feel the battery lasts for a long time, especially considering I always have my music being streamed from the cloud and have at least the web browser opened. I also usually have at least 5 or 6 apps running in the background, which will sip battery away, albeit at a slow level.
The Nexus 7 has changed my thoughts on what a budget priced tablet can do. No longer will companies be able to release tablets at a cheap price that can’t compete with the Google/Asus. Not only is the Nexus 7 great for a budget priced tablet, its great overall. Will the iPad still be worth it to people for $500+ when they can have a similarly capable tablet for more than half the price? That is the question Apple will have to deal with. Fortunately for Android fans, there prayers have been answered with one of the best tablets on the market for an outstanding price.